Cloud storage vs. on-premises servers

When it comes to deciding whether to store your business’ information on-premises or in the cloud (or migrating it from one to the other), the sheer thought can seem overwhelming and complex. Still, many companies—large and small—are choosing a cloud solution. In fact, a 2020 survey finds that 41% of enterprise workloads will be run on public cloud platforms by the end of the year, with another 22% using a hybrid option, which is a mix of both. The study also predicts on-premises workloads will shrink a full 10% before the year’s out—from 37% to 27%.

Small, medium and large businesses are moving to cloud storage as it’s generally the best solution based on several criteria—but there are some edge cases where it’s not ideal. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both cloud storage and on-premises storage, so you’ll be better informed before you decide.

What is on-premises storage?

On-premises storage means your company’s server is hosted within your organization’s infrastructure and, in many cases, physically onsite. The server is controlled, administered, maintained, procured, etc. by your company and its in-house IT team, or an IT partner. Data and other information are shared between computers through your local network.

What is cloud storage?

With cloud storage, an outside service provider such as Microsoft hosts your data. The cloud provider procures, installs and maintains all hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure in its data centers. You access these services and manage your account via the internet from your PC, a web browser or a mobile app.